Today was an exciting day for 24 muaythai athletes as they became the first competitors at the World University Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. It was the culmination of months of hard work by each young student, as they made their dreams a reality.
The bouts are taking place outdoors with the ring covered by a huge marquee tent, and a walkway for the athletes so they really feel they are superstars as they approach the ropes. The event is free entry to all, and as Pattaya is such a tourist town there is an international crowd to support every team. And a host of Thai dignataries to support the University Board of Thailand.
The opening bout really set the pace, with a blistering three rounds between France and Morocco. Simon Blancho said he was really happy with the win, saying: ‘It was a good fight, a strong and good opponent, a good way to start the competition – it really shows the standard here I thought. I hope to win gold now!” His opponent Mohamed El Barnoussi was disappointed, but stoic with plans to support his team-mates tomorrow.
Team Kazakhstan had a good day between the ropes, winning three of their four bouts including a win for The World Games bronze medalist Almaz Sarsembekov.
The women’s 60kg division saw a tight battle between Lebanon’s Sandra Succar and Alegandra Romero (Spain) with the Spanish athlete (above in photo) taking the win. Israel’s Nili Block also advanced.
The final bout of the day was an exciting one between Kyrgyzstan’s Bekzhan Matysaev and Hungarian athlete Kurdy Istvan. Both stayed away from the ropes, trading body-kicks and punches, but Matysaev was in control of the centre and took a points win.
Full details of the programme and results can be viewed WUC Muaythai
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